Getting it Right from the Start
Children learn more in their early years than during any other time of life. Investments in children from infancy to 8 years are key to helping children read by third grade.
That is why ACNJ supports a comprehensive, coordinated approach to early learning that spans many systems and addresses critical aspects of a child’s growth and development during the first eight years.
· Supporting parents to be their children’s first teachers
· Providing access to high-quality child care and preschool that promotes a small child’s natural tendencies to explore and learn
· Closely coordinating the preschool through 3rd grade experience that builds on the benefits of early learning from year to year
For more than a decade, ACNJ has led efforts to build an effective approach to early learning. We have created and piloted a way to assess and measure the quality of child care, giving center directors a way to improve the programs they offer our youngest children.
We have worked to implement New Jersey’s nationally-acclaimed preschool program, putting the children who participate in these programs on the path to school success.
And, as we continue to advance efforts to give more children access to quality preschool, we are also working to improve education from kindergarten through 3rd grade. When teachers, school administrators and parents work together to create consistent, quality classrooms in these early learning years, children build on the gains made in preschool and are more likely to succeed in school.
That’s good news for children, for parents and for taxpayers. Children who benefit from quality early learning are less likely to need expensive interventions, like special education, and more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.
Our primary advocacy efforts for high-quality early learning include:
· Implementing and expanding New Jersey’s nationally acclaimed, full-day preschool program for 3- and 4-year-olds.
· Leading the Build Initiative, which aims to create coordinated and comprehensive approaches to early care and learning for children from birth to age six.
· Spearheading efforts to closely coordinate the preschool through 3rd grade educational experiences of children.